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Virtual Kabbalat & Havdalah

03/20/2020 10:38:01 AM


Dear haverim,
Our virtual minyan, in spite of the circumstances has proven to be an amazing technological tool for us.  It enables us to connect to our community, welcome some dear friends and family to our minyan (Bob  Westle was spotted yesterday afternoon, in addition to my sister and brother-in-law… Jordana, who is in Israel joined us earlier in the day!), recognize lots of familiar faces, and share a few special moments of inspiration in the comfort of our living rooms, home offices, etc.  **We will include directions, again, to connect to our ZOOM minyan at the bottom of this note. (zoom link)
Our first virtual Kabbalat Shabbat service will be held this evening at 6:30pm.  Together, we will daven the first portion of the service- that which is composed of many melodies characterizing Friday evening as an upbeat, inspirational service introducing the beauty of Shabbat.  We will invite everyone to join us for this minyan, including a brief sermon, followed by the lighting of Shabbat candles, the blessing of children, and the singing of “Shalom Aleichem.”  I ask you to please consider having your set of Shabbat candlesticks ready as we will ask everyone to light, together, experiencing the joy of Shabbat as an extended family located across our community. 
We will not daven Maariv, the evening service or conduct the morning Shabbat service as these services would require us to abrogate too many of the stipulations that define Shabbat.  At the same time, we encourage everyone to daven privately, utilizing the liturgy to help create the beauty that is Shabbat.
We will focus our attention on enhancing the sense of community throughout the week.  We will begin Shabbat with the aforementioned Kabbalat Shabbat service and conclude Shabbat with a shared Havdalah.  We invite everyone to click onto our ZOOM connection this Saturday evening at 8:17pm when we will make Havdalah, together as an extended community.  Everyone is invited to utilize their own Havdalah set for this beautiful moment- how special it would be to see many Havdalah candles burning across our community!
Additionally, during this strange period of our lives we will add a Sunday morning and evening minyan to our schedule.  Sunday morning minyan will begin at 8:30am while Sunday evening will remain at the usual 6:15pm time. 
We hope the use of our ZOOM technology helps everyone overcome, to some significant extent the sense of isolation that now defines our world.  Shabbat is to be experienced as a community in our shuls; it is to be enjoyed with family and friends sitting at our dinner tables; it is designed to take us out of our routines and remind us of the uniqueness that defines us as human beings.  Yet, today’s chaotic world has already redefined our world, preventing us from davening in shul, precluding us from inviting family and friends to our dinner tables, and distancing us from any sense of routine.  All the more so, we need the sense of community afforded us via ZOOM, capturing the beauty of our Anshai Torah community and the many wonderful families who touch our world in so many inspirational ways.  (zoom link)
Please make every effort to join us as we mark this first Shabbat of our imposed isolation associated with COVID-19….Indeed, may our Creator hear our prayers for healing as we enlist the Kadosh Baruch Hu’s assistance in bringing an end to this horrific scene that has invaded and destroyed our sense of normalcy.
Shabbat Shalom u’mevorach,
Rabbi Stefan Weinberg
Rabbi Michael Kushnick
Thu, April 15 2021 3 Iyyar 5781